How does the Catholic Faith influence homesteading practices?
This is a phenomenal question that is important to consider when setting out to homestead. In all things we do, we should be concerned with whether or not our actions, thoughts and motivations honor and glorify God. As more Catholics consider the homesteading lifestyle, it will become more important to consider how homesteading can be influenced by the Catholic Faith.
While this will not be an exhaustive response, hopefully it will offer some assistance.
From the outset, it is important to consider the fundamentals of the homestead lifestyle. Often, the picturesque imagery of aspects of homesteading, presented typically through social media outlets, create a scenario of outdoor activities, chicken coops and beautiful kitchens. However, what is most important on the homestead, is the foundational aspects of a liturgical and prayer life, rooted in the Catholic Faith, that supports the individual family members in their own respective developments in the spiritual life.
There are many ways to establish a homesteading environment characterized by prayer. One recommendation is to consider hourly appointed prayer activities (e.g., communal prayer experiences that begin at a particular time). One such example is the praying of the Angelus at 6AM, 12PM and 6PM. Another recommendation would be including the Divine Office into the homestead. Consider recognizing the Ember Days, including the traditional fasting and abstinence requirements. Whatever it might be, identify a prayer routine that allows for the family to come together communally to engage in those prayers as the visibility of those prayers may help to establish a cultural element of Catholicism within the homestead.
Check out a related blog post that was posted as a guest contribution regarding the Ember Days: “The Enriching Spiritual Experience of Ember Days.”